How we'll help when you tell us you're homeless

We offer help to all eligible people who are homeless or worried about becoming homeless. We are duty-bound to offer this help under the Homelessness Reduction Act. 

We may not be able to help you if your immigration status means you have no recourse to public funds.

You are usually considered homeless if any of the following circumstances apply to you:

  • You are staying with friends, sometimes known as sofa surfing, and have been asked to leave
  • You are at risk of losing your privately rented property because your landlord has given you notice to quit, or you are at the end of your contract and there isn’t an option to renew
  • You cannot afford to stay where you are
  • You are street homeless or a rough sleeper
  • You live in a mobile home or houseboat and have nowhere to put it
  • You have been locked out of your property or illegally evicted
  • You are at risk of violence or physical, psychological, sexual, financial, or emotional abuse

When we talk to the person who is homeless, we must agree reasonable steps to prevent or relieve their homelessness. The person must also agree to take reasonable steps to prevent themselves from becoming homeless. This is recorded in their Personal Housing Plan (PHP).

Duty to prevent homelessness

We will help people who are threatened with homelessness in the next 56 days.

We will try and prevent people becoming homeless by helping them remain in their current accommodation.

Duty to relieve homelessness

If someone is already homeless, we will help them find suitable accommodation.

People in priority need may be offered immediate emergency accommodation. Priority need means people who are:

  • responsible for children
  • pregnant
  • at risk of violence or abuse
  • homeless because of fire, flood or other disaster
  • vulnerable because of a medical condition

If you qualify for emergency accomodation, where we place you will depend on what's available combined with your personal circumstances. We will consider things like how far you have to travel for work, school or caring responsibilities.

We may place you in a homeless hostel, bed and breakfast accommodation or a self-contained property. The accommodation may be outside of Hounslow if we have a shortage of properties.

Duty to refer homelessness

Public authorities and agencies have a duty to notify us if they are working with someone who is facing homelessness or is already homeless.

Main housing duty

After 56 days, the relief duty ends if someone has not been able to find suitable accommodation.

The main housing duty is still owed to those who:

  • are still homeless after the relief duty
  • are in priority need
  • have not made themselves intentionally homeless
  • have a local connection to Hounslow
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